Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 17
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 500
Just before making his talkie directorial debut with Atlantic, director E.A. DuPont dashed off the silent "backstage" drama Piccadilly. By the time the film was released in 1929, talking pictures had taken a firm hold of the British film industry, obliging DuPont to reshoot much of the picture with dialogue. American screen favorites Anna May Wong and Gilda Gray (the girl who popularized the "shimmy dance") head the cast, the former as Shosho, a dishwasher in the London nightclub where the
Jan 1, 1929 Limited
Mar 1, 2005
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Dupont has an original way of employing camera movement to suggest erotic chemistry between characters, and Wong, who even provoked a rave notice from Walter Benjamin, is as memorable and confident as Louise Brooks was in the films of G.W. Pabst.
Like most English pictures, the drama is crudely shaped and conventionally directed. Anna May Wong does the best acting.
Music is the usual medley of pop dance stuff, with the cabaret set about the best thing in the production. Camerawork on close-ups is excellent.
The melodramatic machinations of the plot may be weak, but Dupont's assured direction, Alfred Jünge's art direction, and Werner Brandes' lighting create an atmosphere so hauntingly evocative as to be satisfying in itself.
A swinging London club; the breakup of a famous performing couple; a well-known dancer being replaced by one younger and more exotic; a murder. All juicy fodder for plot, and it's a good thing.
[Wong's] role of Shosho, the red-hot dancing star of London's Piccadilly nightclub, shows her at her dramatic and erotic peak.
Dupont's stunning evocation of London's roaring twenties would be of cinematic interest even without Wong; but her sultry presence makes this backstage melodrama a must-see.
It's difficult to imagine a Hollywood production allowing an Asian star to be as commanding as Wong is in Piccadilly.
A drama of sexual and racial politics set against the buzz of jazz-age London culture, Piccadilly is an incredibly modern silent film featuring a career-best performance from Anna May Wong.
[Wong] is not top billed, but her entrance in Piccadilly -- and her general presence -- make her the star.
Wong has acquired a loyal cult following over the years, and Dupont's exquisitely filmed episodes show why.
Audience Reviews for Piccadilly
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